Dunedin's famous university

Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and sits proudly on the south east coast of the South Island. Steeped in Scottish heritage and historic gold mining prosperity, the city is now the focal point of Otago; a region famed for its marvellous landscapes. Dunedin has a strong cultural feel, with a thriving food scene fuelled by its status as a university city, plenty of traditional Scottish architecture, and a number of galleries and museums. Here are a few things not to miss whilst you’re in Dunedin...

Engage with the city’s fascinating past

For a taster of the history of art in New Zealand, be sure to visit the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The Gallery is home to a large collection of native pieces, dating back to 1860. There is also some significant European art within the collection, including influential works by artists such as Turner, Gainsborough, Monet and Machiavelli- not to mention Dunedin’s own globally admired artist Frances Hodgkins. The gallery is located right in the city centre, and with free admission is well worth a wander round.

For a broader view of local history look no further than the Otago Museum. There are seven separate galleries to wander through, including ‘People of the World and Pacific Cultures’, ‘The Animal Attic’, and rooms dedicated to natural and maritime history. The most popular attraction within the museum is probably the Discovery World Tropical Forest, which is an entirely living exhibit, recreating a tropical forest and bringing you up close and personal to butterflies, birds, turtles and much more. At a constant temperature of 28°C, it’s definitely Dunedin’s hottest attraction.

A trip to the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum will give you a fascinating look through the history of settlers in New Zealand. Each race, from the indigenous Maori people to the early Chinese and subsequent waves of migrant groups, have influenced New Zealand with their own innovations, art, and cultural identities- all of which is detailed and housed within the Settlers Museum.

Explore the famous Otago Peninsula

The Otago Peninsula stretches out to sea from the eastern side of Dunedin, and is one of New Zealand’s most renowned eco-tourism areas. As well as excellent wildlife spotting opportunities, including the chance to see the Royal Albatross and rare Yellow-eyed Penguins, there are also a number of popular destinations such as the famous Larnach Castle. The Peninsula also has a plethora of bike and walking tracks, as well as organised wildlife cruises and twilight tours.    

Conquer Tunnel Beach

Tunnel Beach

Two kilometres south of Dunedin, Tunnel Beach combines a refreshing walk with spectacular views of the ocean and the coastline’s wind sculpted sandstone cliffs. The walk is best taken at low tide. Unless you want to get wet. 

Appreciate Dunedin’s Botanic Garden

The wind sculpted Tunnel Beach

A stroll through the Botanic Garden in Dunedin offers a serene escape from the faster pace of the city. There are over 6,800 different species of plant, along with plenty of bird watching opportunities within the park. What was the first Botanic Garden in New Zealand has been open since 1863, and the Winter Garden Glasshouse is one of the many Edwardian highlights.